A powerful nor'easter created made traveling a nightmare at airports across the country, including Tampa International, where hundreds of flights were affected between Thursday and Friday.
As of mid-afternoon on Friday, 45 flights in and out of TIA had been canceled and more than 100 were delayed. A day earlier, as many as 30 were grounded, while more than 200 experienced delays.
"A little frustrated," said Bobby Hoffman, a traveler from Indianapolis who came to Tampa with a group of friends to watch the Outback Bowl. "We're trying to make the best of it. We did a little airport bar crawl [Thursday] night. We played hide-and-go-seek earlier and just been playing games, watching Breaking Bad on my phone."
The storm slammed the Northeast with stiff winds and punishing cold on Thursday, dumping nearly 2 feet of snow in parts of the region and threatening more.
The National Weather Service said 21 inches of snow had fallen in Boxford, just north of Boston, by Thursday night, while other parts of the state had 17 or 18 inches.
It said parts of upstate New York had 18 inches while New York City was expected to get about 8. A little more than 3 inches of snow had fallen in Central Park early Friday.
"Anybody who's flying to the Northeast, to Philadelphia, to New Jersey, to New York, they're going to see some long delays," said Emily Nipps, a spokesperson for TIA. "JFK Airport was shut down for about four hours [Friday] morning. They weren't letting any planes come and go. Obviously that's a very busy airport so that affects airports everywhere."
Most delays in and out of Tampa averaged about an hour and a half, although some lasted several hours.
The bad weather left many travelers wondering when they'd get home. Jennifer Rolfe, whose family visited the Bay Area from England, was concerned about making her connecting flight in Washington D.C.
"Got here only to find that the flights have been delayed. Our connecting flight's also been delayed and the next one through to Heathrow [Airport in London] won't be until Monday," she said. "One of those things you can't do much about."
Nipps recommended travelers with flights scheduled to depart Saturday leave plenty of time even if their flights aren't delayed; lines at TIA are expected to be longer-than-normal due to travelers who had to rebook.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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